Did you give advance notice of your arrival? To whom? Was there anyone who you did not inform? Why?


Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
After you contacted the community leadership, did you call the city and let them know that you were coming in, or did you just show up and say, "Hi"?

Answer:
No, I contacted the sheriff, I didn't have to contact anybody else.

Question:
You did that prior to coming in?

Answer:
Sure, I didn't want to surprise him. And the sheriff here in California, he's the man.

Question:
Did you ever surprise any of the parties in any case?

Answer:
Not as such. Sometimes I'd be called in by the community and I would agree to go in only to discuss what concerned them, but not to commit myself to provide service. Once I asked the police chief if he'd meet with me.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you inform all parties that you were coming on sight before you actually got on sight? Did they know that you were coming, or did you just show up?

Answer:
Well, the tribal officials, they knew I was coming. They asked that I come and I said, "Yes, I would come." I had to go find the others, the residents on the island. I had a description of where they lived or where the incident took place, that sort of thing. One or two names were known, and the others were not.

Question:
So did you just go up and start knocking on doors?

Answer:
Exactly. I went to the area where I understood that they were talking about.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Would you ever just show up unannounced?

Answer:
Yes, but that's generally not a good way to go.

Question:
What would be the reasons why you would just show up, versus call?

Answer:
A crisis situation, a serious situation where we just had to drop things and go. Then you were seen to be showing up, as you put it. But we were just getting there quickly as we could and could not establish contact. That is always less desirable for us. I was mediating a Bowhead whales issues up in Port Barra, in the Arctic, and a serious incident had occurred and I took off up there and finally got in. I remember, right after I arrived, one of the Native Alaskan local leaders was coming out of the one general store that is in Barra, and I was coming in and bumped into him. I think he'd been enjoying the evening a little bit before he went into the store, let's put it that way. But he became almost irate that I had come without having contacted him. He was not the top leader.

Question:
He knew who you were?

Answer:
Oh yeah. We had done work together. I had worked with him. And I hadn't told him that I was coming this time. I didn't have a chance to. So that's a downside. You try to notify people that you're coming and will be involved, "Can I see you?"

Question:
Were there any other reasons why you wouldn't inform a party other than just time constraints?

Answer:
Well, there are plenty of communities where we would not know who to contact, smaller rural areas. We may not know anybody there, or have a contact. So you just show up. You try to contact somebody who does know the community, or that had been through there, or the next community over. "Can you put me in touch with somebody there?" But, again, you don't always have the luxury of making that many phone calls. And at some point, you've got to go, and you will end up going unannounced. And in rural areas, that's not unusual. Sometimes that works against you, but other times, people are glad to see you.






Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So you provided advance notice to both parties? Was there any party that was uninformed that you were becoming involved?

Answer:
No, not really. Not that I am aware of.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Since we had not yet met nor spoken with the students, they did not know that we were coming to the meeting with the President of the university system. We were there but we weren't identified at the meeting.





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I contacted the city council and the school board and went down to find out what was happening.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So there was never an occasion where you would go on-site without giving any notice?

Answer:
There might be an exception if violence is occurring and we think that we can get to the scene and help out, that's the exception.

Question:
Can you think of an instance, or an example that we could talk about a little bit?

Answer:
A lot of it was in Indian country, where the disputes were occurring and we would, in some cases, get requests from law enforcement or from the US Attorney's office.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Was each party aware you were coming on-site?

Answer:
Yes. Only because I had told them, but a lot of them didn't know.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So did you call him before you went?

Answer:
Yes, I called him. Let's say in that situation, since there was a black victim involved, I wanted to see the concerns of the black community so besides calling the mayor I tried to reach the NAACP, and the ministers. I tried to reach the First Baptist church, also. As I left town I called the F.B.I. to see what had been happening. The F.B.I. district director special agent in charge talked to me and said they held a press conference at noon, and he was on his way back to Houston. He just filled me in a little bit on what happened. I had also tried to reach the mayor and the mayor finally called me back and arranged to meet with him. We arranged to meet about 7:00 or 8:00 that evening, so on the way up there about thirty minutes from Jasper, I called the mayor because I thought maybe I should meet with other people and he could notify them. He said sure, come on over we'll talk about that. He was going to see what he could do. Later I was up at his house and he had a whole lot of black men there all dressed up in suits and all that. I thought it was a monthly meeting of some group. I realized after a while that he had called them to meet with me. There must have been about fifteen, or twenty people, maybe more. They told me about what they felt about the current situation, what they had been doing already, and some historical issues involving race in the community. We agreed I would help them, and we'd look into the historical issues at a later date, but right now we would look at what's happening currently, what was expected, and who was doing what already. I found they had begun working very closely with the white ministers.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you try to do this in person on-site, or do you do this on the telephone?

Answer:
In person, on-site. Sometimes you can make an assessment through the phone, but I always found it was better to go on-site. Because it's person-to-person. You can imagine calling a community person that's not too familiar with this and you identify yourself and you say this is what you do and you try to work it out and so on and so forth. That person may well hang up and they won't show up. So it's better to do this on-site.

Question:
Did you just show up at people's doors or did you call first?

Answer:
With the agency people, I would call and say ahead of time that I'll be in the city, and I would like to talk to them. And this is who I am, this is who I work for, and so on. Most agency people naturally say "sure, come on in." Now the community people will be a little more reluctant. But you don't talk with community people until you're there. I prefer to talk to community people in person. Agency people are more astute and more aware, so you can talk to them via phone. Then, ultimately, you meet with the agency people anyway, to get a better handle on their views, and you can have more dialogue when they take you out to have a bite to eat. So you establish a good, strong rapport.

Question:
So with the community people, you found out where they were, and just went and knocked on their door?

Answer:
With the community people, once I know who they are, and there's always somebody that's more vocal than the rest, and that's the one you want to go to. That vocal person then leads you to the rest. Or that vocal person brings the group together.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

C.J. was unable to get into Flint until the next morning. It turned out that the police chief was on vacation, his assistant chief was in control and clearly couldn’t control what was happening. I called the assistant chief at 4 p.m. and said, "Mr. Walker is coming to Flint and should be there this evening. If he gets there in time, he’ll call you and let you know he’s in town. But he’ll definitely call you in the morning.” I knew C.J. wouldn’t be there until the morning but I wanted police to think the Justice Department was on their back that night. I don’t know whether it worked or not. This was a case where our first concern was getting somebody on the scene or at least to have the police chief think somebody from outside was there observing. Once we confirmed the likelihood of police violating the rights of citizens in the black community again that night, we did not need a further assessment to know we had to be there.





Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Was the contact always done by telephone, or was it by mail, or did you ever just show up?

Answer:
Majority was telephoned; we still received letters, but the majority was by telephone.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I went down there to look into brutality in the county jails and I called ahead and told the sheriff and other people that I was coming.






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by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado